Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 24 August 2017

Fendt powers ahead with new heavy hitters

700 range launched on to the world stage as German firm attempts to dominate the market for heavyweight tractors

Bruce Lett

Just launched onto the world stage at the recent Cereals Event in England are three new 700 Vario series tractors by Fendt. These are completely new models from the German tractor manufacturer with horsepowers from 200-240hp.

In boxing terms, the firm now has three tractor ranges offering models in excess of 200hp; the light-heavyweight new 700 series, the heavyweight 800 series and the super-heavyweight 900s.

With so much to choose from above 200hp, Fendt claim they are market leaders in the class in the UK with about a third of the market share in this category.

Designed to meet the next round of engine emission regulations, engines are again supplied by Deutz and are equipped with SCR (AdBlue) exhaust after-treatment requiring an extra tank for AdBlue liquid to be added to the diesel used in the machine.

This method of exhaust emission control is finding favour with a large section of tractor manufacturers and many, including Fendt, claim significant fuel savings. Quoted engine horse powers for the 720, 722 and 724 are 200hp, 220hp and 240hp respectively.

Many, including myself, still find it curious that they have not moved over to their own in-house SISU engine, especially when JCB are now using a SISU engine and Fendt Vario transmission in their new Fastrac's (see JCB report).

Perhaps it is the strength of the brand in its home country of Germany matched with a German engine supplier. However, 25pc of the Deutz engine firm, Deutz AGRI, is owned by the Italian SDF (Same-Deutz-Fahr) Group.

According to Richard Shelton, Fendt national sales manager for the UK and Ireland, the three new tractors combine exceptional power-to-weight ratios with cutting-edge technology in every area.


"These new models, which will eventually replace the current 820, mean Fendt now offers seven different models from 200hp to 250hp, which allows buyers to select exactly the right power, technology and specifications for their specific operations," he said.

The most distinctive feature on the new models is the VisioPlus cab, which now features a front windscreen that curves up into the roof.

This has a very practical function, especially if the tractor is equipped with a front loader, as it provides unbroken and clear visibility when operating the loader at height.

Design

In total, Fendt say their new cab has 5.2sqm of glass area and further changes to the cab design include the removal of the cab's 'B' pillar on the right to give a full, unobstructed view through one large glass window. On the left, the 'B' pillar remains, but the left-hand glass door is still quite large. With all that glass, thankfully both air-conditioning and climate control are standard.

Cabs are more comfortable too, with a three-point cab suspension option (front axle and air seat are standard).

Traditionally, cab suspension design from most manufacturers hinges the front part of the cab on rubber blocks with the suspension components to the rear. The extra air bag in the Fendt design is positioned at the front of the cab. As a result, the cab is completely suspended on air, which aims to improve operator comfort.

The familiar Fendt armrest houses the Vario multi-function joystick control and is equipped with a seven-inch screen on the Profi versions or, optionally, a 10.4in Varioterminal screen on ProfiPlus models. Both terminals are ISObus compatible and provide Variotronic control of the headland management system and Fendt's engine and transmission control system.

Another new feature available on the higher-spec ProfiPlus models is Fendt's VarioActive steering option.

Similar in principle to New Holland's Fast Steer system, this can be set on the Varioterminal screen to turn the front wheels lock-to-lock in less than one revolution of the steering wheel.

Under the skin there are plenty of changes as well, as Fendt's man in Ireland, William Judge, explains. "The three new models feature a new, heavier chassis and backend, plus hydraulic oil capacity is increased by 20l. They are the same length as the 820, so while they are no bigger, they are about 500kg heavier."

Mr Judge adds that the cab controls are much the same as the 800 and 900 series. "It's the same high spec as the 820, but it is an all-new range with a bigger, brighter cab and it is GPS ready."

Ballasted

All three of the new models have an unladen weight of 7,910kg and the strength and integrity to be ballasted for heavier draft operations, according to Fendt. Weights from the previous Fendt 820 Vario will fit directly on to the new tractors. Lift capacity is almost 9.6t and standard hydraulic pump output is 110 litres/min. In the UK and Ireland, the new Fendt 700 series is available in two levels of specifications -- Profi and ProfiPlus.

However, there is a facility on the Fendt website, similar to those that many manufacturers in the motor industry provide, where you can build or configure your own Fendt tractor (www.fendt.com).

Among the options listed are cab suspension type, hydraulic pump capacity, tyre sizes and tractor colours.

The new models are also available with StarService, which is a full manufacturer's warranty that extends the standard single year to up to 6,000hrs or five years.

Prices? Taking the largest of the new 700 series models on Fendt's website, the 240hp Fendt Vario 724 as an example, without changing any of the options at log-on, the standard Fendt 724 Vario lists at €200,552 + VAT.

The 240hp Fendt 824 is quoted at €215,872 and the 240hp Fendt 924 at €228,521. Both the 824 and 924 are available in 60kph versions, while the 724 maxes out at 50kph.

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